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According to the CEO of Siemens Energy Christian Bruch, Saudi Arabia will be a leading player in the generation of hydrogen economy in the coming future.
“Many of the elements required for the hydrogen economy are present in the Kingdom,” Bruch said in an interview. “You have a resource of solar energy and good existing infrastructures. If I look five or 10 years ahead, I expect that hydrogen will play a key role.”
Green hydrogen is one of the major growing area for Siemens Energy. The Company recently signed an MoU to develop a hydrogen-based industry with export potential with Egypt’s state-owned Egyptian Electricity Holding Company.
The expansion of the company’s Dammam Energy Hub (SEDH) is a “trigger point” for the energy transition in the region and growing the talent pool of skilled local workers in the industry.
SEDH was established 19 years ago and it is the largest gas turbine and compressor manufacturing facility in the kingdom.
“We have 650 employees working in Siemens Energy [in Saudi Arabia], and we have a localization of about 40 percent,” he said. “All of them are very talented people, and this is something we continue to build.”
“This is why the facility is so important,” he said. “It’s an opportunity to train employees on the operational side to improve the local workforce. In a world emerging from the pandemic, it’s important to ensure reliable service to our customers. We are also localizing the supply chain in terms of equipment.”
Saudi Arabia is planning to generate 50% of its energy from renewable sources by 2030. It rose by less than 1% in the start of the 2021 as part of its Vision 2030 initiative.
The country will install 27.3 GW as per National Renewable Energy Program launched in January 2019 will mostly cover solar to a lesser extent wind by 2023 and 58.7 GW by 2050.
In common with others in the sector, Bruch sees the Kingdom’s shift from hydrocarbons as a key area for Siemens’ future growth but added established energy manufacturing plants and technology still had an essential role in the transition.
“There are a lot of things coming on the renewable side, and that’s very good, but the much more difficult task to do is how you save the existing assets we have today and make them better,” he said.
“This facility [SDEH] can play a critical role in that because it is where we can join teams together to help find solutions. It can be a bridge from today’s world to the future.”
The CEO showcased a project of the company which they are developing in the Kingdom. The project will enable its customers to use small fragments of hydrogen to power already existing gas turbines.
“This is a bridge to using existing installations and making them more efficient and carbon-free,” said Bruch. “The focus must be on smart solutions and efficiency for our products, combined with the ability to do a lot more things locally.”